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3 Tales of Fear, Anxiety and Despair on Supertyphoon Haiyan and Its Aftermath and How EFT Helped to Release It

Updated on May 16, 2014

A training workshop was conducted by Sebastiaan van der Schrier, a fellow EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) expert, and his team. to release traumas and provide emotional wellness to traumatized victims of super typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda in Tacloban in the Philippines. Tacloban City was one of the hardest hit areas and each of the participants, who were government social workers, had their own stories to tell.

One of the participants shared that she could not forget waking up that morning hearing window glasses breaking, as well as debris and roofs flying everywhere. She was extremely worried for her parents who were already in their 70’s. The worst memory she had of that day was when her father ran out to their garage wanting to save his car, but, unfortunately, an iron steel brace fell on her father’s head, resulting in profuse bleeding.

She remembers that she shouted at the top of her lungs and experienced the greatest fear of her life. She couldn’t stop worrying that something bad would happen to her father from the accident since she dearly loved her parents.

Another participant recalled that she was on duty at their office at the Department of Social Services and Development. When she saw the water rising she evacuated all the children they housed in the shelter to the 2nd floor of the building. But, the winds were so strong and water continued to rise, so, she decided that they all go to the roof. At this time all the children were already crying and very anxious of what was going to happen. She also couldn’t assure them that things were going to be alright because she, herself, was already becoming frantic and was also crying hard.

After a few hours, the water subsided and she brought the children to a safer location. When they were finallly settled and safe, she rushed outside to offer help. She was terribly shocked at the sight that greeted her - dead bodies everywhere, houses washed out, business establishments gone. This was the memory that kept playing like a never ending movie in her mind, even up to the time of the workshop.

Another story is of a male participant who found himself crying unabashedly when he was asked to recall his experience during the small group session.Only 2 of his family was left alive from the supertyphoon. He was sobbing endlessly when he recounted how all this time he kept telling everyone he was okay and that he had moved on from the experience when he actually had not. He put up a brave front when he was actually crumbling inside and revealed how difficult it has been for him all these time to show and say he was okay when, in truth, he was havving difficulty getting over the traumatic experience.

Sebastiaan worked on the issues by conducting Emotional Freedom Technique tapping on them separately. With the same process for the 3 of them, they were asked to focus on what was greatly troubling them, one particular issue at a time. After focusing on a particular issue, they were asked to concentrate and then tap on these emotions to release it. If they couldn’t concentrate with eyes open, they were encouraged to close their eyes to do it more effectively.

Each session focusing on one issue lasted for just about 10-15 minutes and then they would move to the next issue. In less than an hour, the participants felt the amazing effects of EFT on their bodies.

They all testified feeling lighter and better immediately after. The participants could not stop talking about their EFT experience and vowed to pay it forward by teaching others the technique, especially to the children in grassroot levels.

The trauma healing workshop clearly demonstrated that EFT is a quick and amazing technique that most, if not all, of the 30 participants felt the effectivity of immediately after.


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